The Best is Yet to Be
I love travelling on the O bahn—a bus in Adelaide which travels at 100 kmph on special rails. A few months ago, I sped off to the city, feasting my eyes en route on the lush green foliage, the dappled sunlight as it fell through the trees and the gurgling stream that ran by. I breathed in the the view of the rising mountains, the blue green reservoir as it sparkled in the morning sun, the chattering birds flying against the azure sky. But as I drank of nature’s bounty that day, I knew my pleasure wouldn't end when my journey was over. There was much to look forward to at my destination. I met up with friends for lunch and we had a great time together. It was an experience I cherished.
Last year, when going through an arduous journey with ill health, I struggled to keep up my usual passion for life. To even consider living to an old age, battling daily pain and fatigue as I did then, seemed too difficult. My eyes which till then had been fixed on earth’s fleeting joys were fast turning towards the life hereafter. I longed for a new body in a way I'd not done before. I yearned for our Christian hope—LIFE after life, where God reigns and where disease and suffering are no more.
Thankfully, a few months later I enjoyed better health and began to have a few good days at last. Hooray! But deep within, I knew that something within had changed forever. I was ready for heaven’s shores in a way I’d never been before. In days past, I’d think it was preposterous that the world would carry on after I died. (Does that sound vain?) But now … a life-switch had been turned on, flooding me with new longings. I could say ‘Come Lord Jesus, come’ and really really mean it. I reflected on the change in me. Was it wrong for me to feel this way? Was I ungrateful to God for the life He had given me? What was God’s take on it?
A short while later, I received my answer. I've been studying Rick Warren's ‘Purpose Driven Life’ this year with my Bible study group and I've relished the experience. A sentence from his book jumped out and thumped me hard. The author wrote that God often allows difficulties in our lives so that we don’t get too comfortable on earth. I saw very clearly then, as if I'd put on a new pair of (much needed) reading glasses, and the words on the page were finally legible. (Thank you Rick.) Yes. That’s what had occurred last year. My spiritual eyes were being opened at last to spiritual realities. And no – I wasn’t dishonouring God by thinking this way after all. It was in fact, a God-thing.
My journey to the city on the O bahn, delighting in the beauty around had brought me much contentment. But the real thrill that day lay at my destination. That’s where I got to meet my friends. That was where my body was fed. That was where I rested. I had arrived. Life’s like that too, isn’t it? We can partake of life’s thrills and spills and enjoy it (or sometimes struggle through it as I did), but the final destination we are headed for will be glorious; well beyond our imaginings.
Are you going through a tough season? Is heartache, loss, pain or suffering your portion? Do not despair—you who are in Christ, are not home yet. The deepest joys are yet to be, in the presence of The One who made you and loves you with an eternal love. Today, as you walk through your forest of darkness and pain, lift your eyes to the light of the sun; the brilliance of God’s truth.
The best is yet to be.
“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelations 21:3,4
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Cor 2:9